Specifications and Design
of a Self-Assembled Biodevice
Institute for Theoretical Chemistry
University of Vienna, Austria
This is an abstract for
a poster to be presented at the
Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is
available on the web.
Molecular self-assembly, mainly entropy driven, is a
fundamental process generating higher order, functional ensembles
in natural and artificial systems. The key question in this
context is the definition of a minimum object complexity which is
necessary and sufficient for the emergence of mesoscopic
complexes with well defined functionality as needed in molecular
The core element of the proposed self-assembled biodevice is a
liposome hosting an enzymatic center and channel forming, natural
and artificial polypeptides. The formation of the liposome itself
as well as the incorporation of the hydrophobic peptides is a
spontaneous process under proper environmental conditions ,
thereby encapsulating an enzymatic core.
The specificity of this device is multiply defined by i)
molecular recognition properties of the lipids forming the
liposome (e.g. phosphatidyl-nucleosides), by ii)
transport properties of the channel proteins (e.g. peptide
nanotubes with variable pore size), and finally, by iii)
the substrate specificity of the enzymatic reaction itself.
This high diversity in functionality is the basis for an
information processing machine at the molecular level, resembled
by the flow of substrates into and of products out of the
biodevices. The logic values, represented by substrates and
products, are transported in parallel in solution (logic value
multiplexing) taking defined concentration patterns of substrates
and products in the course of processing by space-coupled
biodevices . This setup enables a molecular computation on the
basis of multiple valued logic as applied in the concept of
interconnection free, biomolecular computing .
 Simulation and Dynamics of Entropy-Driven,
Molecular Self-Assembly Processes. B. Mayer, G. Köhler and S.
Rasmussen; Phys. Rev. E, 55, 4, 4489, 1997.
 A Model for Pattern Formation in
Gap-Junction Coupled Cells. C. Th. Klein and B. Mayer; J. Theor.
Biol., 186, 107, 1997.
 Design of an Interconnection-Free
Biomolecular Computing System. T. Aoki, M. Kameyama and T.
Higuchi; in Proceedings of the Twenty-First International
Symposium on Multiple-Valued Logic, IEEE Comput. Soc. Press, Los
Alamitos, USA, 1991.
Bernd Mayer, Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, University of
Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
phone: +43 1 31336 1578, fax: +43 1 31336 790